Production is ramping up on the Game of Thrones prequel series, with an impressive cast list announced this week.
HBO has several Game of Thrones spin-off series in production to take the show's place after it ends this year. It began with five pitches, one of which was shelved early, according to author George R.R. martin's official blog. Three others are still in the early writing and development stage, while one begins filming next month.
Until this week, the show had only cast Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse in unknown leading roles. The list of new cast members was announced on Tuesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. There is still no telling who these rising stars will play, as the story remains mired in mystery.
The prequel series is still untitled, though Martin has written a few times that his ideal title would be The Long Night. The story is set thousands of years before the main series — though whether that is 10,000 years or 5,000 years remains unclear, proving that there are still mysteries to unearth in the land of Westeros.
What we do know for sure is that the story tracks mankind's descent from the mythical "Age of Heroes," when the First Men reigned over Westeros in harmony with the giants and the Children of the Forest. It will tell the story of the Long Night — the time when the White Walkers first rose up in the far north and threatened mankind.
This means that the story will be set in a brutal winter the likes of which we have not yet seen. It will also follow some semi-historical, semi-mythical characters we have only heard about in passing or in the extremities of Martin's work. We may even see the construction of The Wall at some point in the show.
The prequel show is based on a story developed by Martin and screenwriter Jane Goldman. Goldman also wrote the pilot script, and will serve as showrunner if HBO picks up the series.
Here is a look at the new cast members joining the hotly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel.
British actress Naomi Ackie was added to the cast list this week, adding to the huge milestones in her career. Ackie has an unnamed role in Star Wars: Episode IX, which comes out later this year.
The prequel also picked up 39-year-old Denise Gough, known for work across theater, TV and video games. Gough comes from Ireland, where much of the filming will take place.
For fantasy and genre fans, Jamie Campbell Bower may be one of the most recognizable faces coming to the prequel series. Bower is known for playing Anthony in the film adaptation of Sweeney Todd, and Caius in the later Twilight films.
He also played the young version of Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: Part 1 — a role that has now been taken over by his former co-star Johnny Depp. He even played King Arthur in the short-lived Starz original series Camelot, giving him an impressive resume in the world of medieval fantasy.
Sheila Atim has also joined the cast. Atim is a star on the rise. Although her film and TV credits only go back to 2016, she has amassed a lot of incredible roles, awards and influence in that time. Atim is a recipient of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical and the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer for last year's Girl From the North Country.
Actor and musician Toby Regbo should also feel right at home in Westeros, after his appearances in The Last Kingdom and Reign. Regbo also played a young version of Albus Dumbledore in The Crimes of Grindelwald this year.
Alex Sharp joined the cast as well this week. The young actor is perhaps best known for starring in How to Talk to Girls at Parties in 2017. The actor has few credits to his name, but is considered another rising star to watch.
Georgie Henley will also be one of the most recognizable stars of the upcoming show. Henley played Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia series from 2005 to 2010, growing up before fans' eyes and embodying one of the most iconic characters in fantasy literature.
Henley clearly took some time away from the entertainment business following those movies, but Game of Thrones could be just the vehicle to bring her back into the international limelight.
Finally, English actor Ivanno Jeremiah rounds out the newly announced cast. Jeremiah is a popular face in the U.K., with several prominent movie roles under his belt. Audiences in the U.S. may recognize him best for appearing in a 2016 episode of Black Mirror titled, "Shut Up and Dance."